The Canadian Consumer Confidence Index estimates that on average, Canadians intend to spend $865 on Christmas this year, which is almost $100 dollars more than last year, and is the highest since 2009. With just one week until Christmas and many shoppers still to finish or even start their shopping, are you doing everything you can to ensure visitors receive warm, friendly and efficient customer service that will keep them coming back long after the holidays?
Here are a few simple customer service reminders to share with your staff this holiday season:
- Express a genuine interest in your guests – 68 percent of customers quit doing business with a company because of perceived indifference towards them as customers. Your customers can easily detect if someone is genuinely interested in them. Remind your staff to approach visitors, warmly greet and assist them, and demonstrate enthusiasm through welcoming words and body language. Read more about how to convey authentic enthusiasm here.
- Listen and respond – Great customer service is about meeting a customer’s need with the most appropriate product or service and doing it with patience, efficiency, and grace. Take the time to inform your staff about any promotional specials so they are familiar with what your business offers. Invite them to make recommendations based on what they learn from the customer. Are they exhausted from shopping all day? You might make an offer to place their bulky bags behind the counter so they can move with ease through your shop. Or perhaps you suggest a great local café with the best coffee and sweets where they could unwind for a while. Listening and responding to your guests’ needs builds your reputation as a business that caters to customers. Learn other reasons about why it’s important to listen to your customers here.
- Appreciate their business and loyalty – Never forget to thank your customers for visiting, show them your gratitude for their business, and invite them to return. That ever important “thank you” lets customers know you understand their value, and in turn, they are more likely to return with more business for you. Taking the time to say these two simple words is a basic customer service step, but one that is often overlooked. Challenge your staff to come up creative ways to thank your guests, or borrow from this list of 50 ideas.
What customer service strategies will you be utilizing this season? Share them in the comment box below.
Yours in tourism,
Tourism Development & Industry Relations Coordinator
Ontario’s Highlands Tourism Organization